Friday, August 12, 2011

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon & The Agony and the Ecstacy

Hello my faithful readers!

I am currently engrossed in The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon. 

This book was recommended to me by a friend whom I had loaned The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.
She is British and someone had given it to her.  She found it fascinating and gave it to me as I had just entrusted her with my books. 

I must say, this was not a book I would have chosen for myself.  I am into hardcore murder mystery. Or so I thought.  I discovered that I am just into excellent writing.  My favorites are definitely those with a criminal, a hanious crime and a sassy or macho detective on the scent.  But another book I read comes to mind as I report on The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon.  The writing is different, but I found it similar to The Agony and the Ecstacy, a biography of Michealangelo.  That was one amazing book. My upstairs neighbor lent it to me when I had run out of books to read.

I began The Agony and the Ecstacy and could not get past the first two chapters.  There were so many references in 1400 in Italian places.  I just had lack of mass or reality going on.  I could not continue.  That book sat on  my shelf for over a year as I read everything else I could find.  When I'd run out of books and money to buy more, I picked it up again determined to get through it.  I began googling things I didn't understand, such as maps of Italy and the like.  I looked up words and places.After that, I was hooked and could not put this book down.  I was so intrigued by the writer's depiction of Michealangelo and what he went through to learn his craft.  I was amazed at how an artists education could be supported at that time and how one must struggle in our day.  It fascinated me to no end.  I stayed up nights and was tired and late to work for four or five days while I spent every waking moment in it.

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is a totally different story, and one with much violence and hatred in it.  But it is set in a similar era and shows clearly the thought process of men in those times.  What happened to Jewish people then was so unthinkable.  There is also a murder mystery driving the story.  This manuscript was found in a wall of a home thousands of years old.  An author translated it and put it in a format modern readers could understand and enjoy.  The story itself is harsh for my taste, but intriguing nonetheless and I am now thoroughly involved.  I will not stop until I know all of the answers and understand what truly happened to these people so long ago.

I recommend the Last Kabbalist of Lisbon to any reader.  I have not finished it yet.  I will soon.  As I am so interested in it now, I felt compelled to reveal that interest prematurely so as not to keep you from yet another good read. 

Two books to put on your agenda have you not read them.
The Agony and The Ecstacy and The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon.

Feel free to comment to me or recommend any books you think I would like.
Thank you for reading!
Roxy Rich
Bibliophile, Author, Fashion Stylist and Stand-up Comic